Foal blanket, any quick ideas?

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Honiton

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We had a little colt born last night. I thought that I was totally prepared having a heat lamp and a SStack mini foal saver blanket on hand but it is WAY to big for him. I tried it for a few minutes early this morning and he just gets tangled up in it. I thought about pinning it but that seems like an accident waiting to happen.
Last night once he was dry it was fine, it was a warmer calm night and in the 40's but this evening a few days worth of rain is moving in and I think our somewhat open concept barn is going to be to drafty. He'd be fine with the blanket, which was the plan, I never thought that he would be to small! He doesn't seem to go sit by the heat lamp (I hate leaving those on in the barn anyway) however, like I said, he hasn't figured it out at all.
Any quick blanket tricks or ideas? I thought about an old shirt or coat with some leg holes cut in it, if I can stuff him into the sleeve like a goat kid maybe? The blanket would have been so much nicer.
 

JFNM miniatures

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We had a little colt born last night. I thought that I was totally prepared having a heat lamp and a SStack mini foal saver blanket on hand but it is WAY to big for him. I tried it for a few minutes early this morning and he just gets tangled up in it. I thought about pinning it but that seems like an accident waiting to happen.
Last night once he was dry it was fine, it was a warmer calm night and in the 40's but this evening a few days worth of rain is moving in and I think our somewhat open concept barn is going to be to drafty. He'd be fine with the blanket, which was the plan, I never thought that he would be to small! He doesn't seem to go sit by the heat lamp (I hate leaving those on in the barn anyway) however, like I said, he hasn't figured it out at all.
Any quick blanket tricks or ideas? I thought about an old shirt or coat with some leg holes cut in it, if I can stuff him into the sleeve like a goat kid maybe? The blanket would have been so much nicer.
I saw people put little toddler sweaters on their foals. But I'm not sure in terms of safety, I've never done it.... All the miniature horse foal blankets I've seen look too big, or too large.

One of my mares is pregnant and due for April and I'm going to make a foal blanket myself because I expect this foal to be small... Momma is 33" and Daddy is 34".

But I'd still not leave the blanket on the foal when I'm not around... Too many accidents possible.
 

Honiton

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Thanks! Pitter - near by! We're in Fife Lake. I just thought about a dog coat this morning, I am going to look for one. He is baking under a heat lamp this morning (under observation) and doing just fine.
I wish I would have thought more about it and had a smaller blanket made. I am just learning to sew myself so not at blanket making skill level yet or I would have tried to get something together for him last night.
 

JFNM miniatures

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Well, at least he figured out how the heat lamp works... perhaps you'll only need a blanket when you put them outside...
 

Honiton

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Yes! However now I am on to worrying about him shivering. It is 52*f and not a bit windy, he is tucked into clean dry straw under a heat lamp and hasn't stopped shivering all morning.
 

JFNM miniatures

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Hmmm.... If he's still shivering, this is not good... Try putting on human baby sweaters on him... It's going to help him regualte his temperature... Newborns cannot regulate their temperature, and it makes it harder if there is wind or a breeze. Do you have a foaling cam ? If you're home, you could watch him through there to see if everything is all right, in terms of safety.
 

JFNM miniatures

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Also, I don't know how your barn is made, but you could make some kind of shield for the wind by building a hay or straw wall where the wind comes in. Just make sure none of your horses can reach it and that your heat lamp is far enough for fire hazards.
 
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Honiton

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I do not think that its good either.
I ended up cutting the foal saver blanket shorter, pinning it on and taping the pins, FREQUENTLY checking on him. I thought that would warm him up, snugged in the straw, in a blanket, under a heat lamp but he has just shivered all the more. In the past two hours he has shown less and less interest in nursing. He takes a half hearted sip or two or nothing at all, but noses around. He just wants to lay back down and is shivering. I took his temp, its 99*, called the vet, they're not concerned but I think something isn't right.
He wasn't shivering at all yesterday.
 

Taz

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I'd rig up another layer or two on him somehow (dog coats with extra fleece blankets sewn inside worked for mine) and get some milk from the mare and syringe it into him of he's not eating. Call your vet back if he doesn't perk up soon.
 

JFNM miniatures

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I do not think that its good either.
I ended up cutting the foal saver blanket shorter, pinning it on and taping the pins, FREQUENTLY checking on him. I thought that would warm him up, snugged in the straw, in a blanket, under a heat lamp but he has just shivered all the more. In the past two hours he has shown less and less interest in nursing. He takes a half hearted sip or two or nothing at all, but noses around. He just wants to lay back down and is shivering. I took his temp, its 99*, called the vet, they're not concerned but I think something isn't right.
He wasn't shivering at all yesterday.
I agree with Taz... if he doesn't get stronger after you give him milk, blanket him and put a heat lamp, call your vet. Something is not right.
 

chandab

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Late to the discussion, as I was gone all day.
Hopefully, by now he's been warmed up and/or seen the vet.
I've used dog coats and homemade fleece blankets on my foals; They haven't seemed to need much more than that, even the one born three years ago on the coldest day in March. Just a basic fleece blanket.
 

Honiton

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Update: He continued to sleep all day and shake/shiver. He would get up to nurse, poop or pee and went directly back down. He would paw, kick, yawn, stretch and constantly shiver. He just didn't seem right to me and he seemed uncomfortable. It ended up about 60*f yesterday, he was under the lamp and blanketed. Late afternoon we loaded up him and momma and took them to a vet to get a full work up.

Bloodsugar test came back normal, white blood cell count normal/no infection, everything else checked out, IgG showed numbers what they considered to be a little lower than they'd like and offered plasma or preventative antibiotics. We decided to wait on the plasma since he was borderline and the vet didn't really seem to think that was why he was shivering. He is back home now doing a wait and see.

I'm not sure what about a hectic night of being bounced down the road in a trailer did to help but he hasn't been shivering since we returned home or that I've seen over night/this AM. He seems pretty tuckered out but continues to get up and eat before falling right back asleep. ...I would be relieved to see him up for longer than he is so hopefully that happens soon but at this point, grateful the basics checked out ok and he seems to have stopped shivering and shaking.
 

JFNM miniatures

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Soo cute!!! I love his color!
Happy that everything is all right.... At least you know everything is ok ! You must be so relieved that he's not shivering anymore !!
 

Honiton

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SO relieved.
Plus. Yesterday he would barely open his eyes, he didn't seem to look and follow movement. He just looked... asleep! He had a little eye goop that I was cleaning. My husbands allergies have been kicking his butt since this foal has arrived. He wondered if there was something with the straw? Since its the cost of a bale, we bought straw from somewhere else and switched the bedding last night. This morning the colts eyes are wide open and he is looking around, looking up at me and it made a big difference in my husbands allergies when he visited the colt this morning. So perhaps there was something to that as well.
 

JFNM miniatures

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Hmm... so interesting ! I know that foals in general don't have very good vision for the first few days, but like you were saying, it looks like that straw was not helping him... it's good you could find another batch.

I have a pregnant mare who is due for April... I'll keep this in note in case it happens...

There is so much to learn within the world of horses (not to mention foaling, foal and pregnant/lactating mares! ) !!! I've been around horses for about ten years now, but every day I learn something new !
 

Honiton

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You're right! I have had horses for 20 years and I still got stumped by a cold foal who might be a little allergic to the straw LOL. Oh well, it is far better than missing something, waiting to long and loosing one.

I hope all goes well for you and your mare, how exciting!
 

JFNM miniatures

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You're right! I have had horses for 20 years and I still got stumped by a cold foal who might be a little allergic to the straw LOL. Oh well, it is far better than missing something, waiting to long and loosing one.

I hope all goes well for you and your mare, how exciting!
Thank you Honiton !
If you want to see the thread for my mare, it's named Flicka's mare stare thread.
You're right, it's better too worry a little and take precautions or actions, than being sorry later !
 
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